Being the parent of an autistic child can be challenging on a normal day, but when it comes to moving, things can quickly become impossible. How do you make the transition into a new home with an autistic child less traumatic for your child and less stressful for you? Here, you will find several tips that can help make the transition a little easier for everyone.
Before the Move
With autistic children, abrupt changes can turn their world upside-down. Because of this, it is important that you take things very slowly during the packing and moving process. Spend a few minutes every day talking about the move and answering any questions that your child may have.
Don't attempt to get as much packed up at the last minute as possible. Instead, start filling boxes from areas that your child doesn't ordinarily see all of the time. This will allow you to begin packing ahead of time without disrupting the normal day-to-day life of your child.
Wait until the last possible minute to pack up your child's room. In many cases, that is the one space that he or she truly feels comfortable. If possible, wait until the day before or the day of the move to pack up that room. It can be a lot of work to get a whole room dismantled and packed up in a single day, but bring in some friends and family to help.
You have enough on your plate to deal with, so let the moving companies handle your move. You can get your son or daughter out of the house while the movers get to work packing and loading up your things for the move. This can take a lot of stress off of both you and your child.
Warm Your Child Up to the New Home
Visit the new house without your child and take pictures of every room. Sit down and go over the pictures and talk about what will go in each room and what each room will be used for.
After showing your child the pictures several times, take a day and visit the new house with your child. Walk around the outside of the house and show him or her the new outside play spaces. Maybe discuss planting a garden or flower bed, or discussing the kind of swing set that he or she might like.
Inside the home, take it slow. Show your child the areas of the house that he or she will mainly use. For example, visit the new bedroom. Talk about how all of his or her things will be moved from the old room to the new one and that it will be just like it was before the move.
This will be a challenging time for the entire family, but with a lot of planning and a little help, you can all get through it with fewer troubles.